Apple WWDC15 : The coolest new iOS 9 features that Apple didn’t announce

Apple WWDC15 : The coolest new iOS 9 features that Apple didn’t announce


Today at WWDC Apple unveiled iOS 9, the latest version of its mobile operating system. While the standout features included the Flipboard replacement Apple News and public transport directions for Maps, no WWDC keynote would be complete without The Slide of Cool Things We Didn’t Have Time to Talk About™. A staple for years, it’s a way to get a sneak peek at what new tweaks and improvements will be waiting for users when iOS 9 finally ships, though this year it’s a bit less feature-rich than in the past — in line with iOS 9’s overall focus on creating a sturdier operating system that can work on all possible devices. Let’s take a look at the 2015 version, which angled largely around the benefits developers will notice, and see what Apple has been working on for the past year.

Flyover and Walkthrough

Apple discussed new Maps features like like public transit directions, but potentially, there’s an even richer experience users can expect when iOS 9 ships this fall. Certain cities already have a “flyover” view that give an automated, bird’s-eye view of a city’s landscape, but broadening that feature — not to mention looking inside certain buildings and structures — would be a flashy and potentially useful update.

Search extensibility

Senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi briefly touched on the fact that search flexibility is going to allow searches in iOS to utilize data deep within an app, and even launch into the hierarchy of a given app to act upon the search results. It’s one way Apple wants to combat Google Now with what it calls a “proactive assistant”. There’s a tremendous amount of potential here and over the coming week, developers will no doubt hear more about how to take advantage of it.

Third-party notifications and Notification actions

Third-party notifications for iOS have existed for quite some time, but they have continued to lag behind the rich feature set offered by Android. And that lack of granularity for many third-party notifications is amplified with the Apple Watch. Apple has plenty of room for improvement on both of these fronts, and any additional functionality will be most welcome.

Object-oriented Contacts

In iOS 9, the operating system will be able to cross-reference data from various sources when you receive a call. That means it can do things like suggest who may be calling you when an unknown number dials your phone. An object-oriented Contact app will allow greater interoperability between the operating system — and therefore other iOS apps and services — than the current version.

App thinning

On stage, Apple touted that iOS 9’s new architecture allows the update to be delivered in a much smaller download than previous versions. The thinning of actual apps could also be a huge boon for those with limited storage space on their devices. It will likely allow developers to build their app packages with just the essential code and libraries needed to guarantee functionality. That would remove some of the legacy cruft that could fatten up an otherwise economically coded app.

We’re including a list of the other features listed on The Slide™ below, and we will keep you updated as new details emerge from WWDC 2015!

  • OCR accessory setup
  • Audio unit extension
  • VPN plug-in extension
  • Swift 2
  • Map customization
  • Direct document
  • UI testing in Xcode
  • Sensor profile
  • Motorized windows profile
  • New Health data types
  • Code coverage
  • Gaming APIs
  • Automated shades profile
  • Layout guide
  • Shortcut Bar
  • New multitasking APIs
  • New HomeKit profiles
  • iCloud open in place
  • Home security profile
  • Storyboard references
  • App transport security API
  • Stack view
  • Wireless CarPlay
  • HomeKit iCloud remote access

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